1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Middleton

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 181.



A Poet in the Reign of King Charles I. He was Contemporary with Ben Johnson, Fletcher, Massinger, &c. by the two first of which he was thought fit to be receiv'd into a Triumvirate in the Writing of Plays, which shew'd him to be no mean Poet; and tho' he fell short of those celebrated Writers, yet by their Assistance, he attain'd a pretty considerable Reputation. He has twenty-two Plays extant, viz.

I. The Five Gallants; acted at the Black-Fryars.

II. BLURT, Mr. Constable, or The Spaniard's Night Walk; a Comedy, acted by the Children of St. Paul's, 1602.

III. The Phoenix; a Tragedy, acted by the Children of St. Paul's, and also before his Majesty, 1607. The Story is taken from a Spanish Novel, call'd, The Force of Love.

IV. The Family of Love; a Comedy, acted by the Children of his Majesty's Revels, 1608.

V. The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cutpurse; acted on the former Stage by the Prince's Players, 1611.

VI. A Trick to catch the Old One; a Comedy, acted both at Paul's and Black-Fryars, before their Majesties, with great Applause, 1616.

VII. The Triumphs of Love and Antiquity; a Masque, perform'd at the Confirmation of Sir William Cockain, General of his Majesty's Forces, and Lord Mayor of the City of London, 1619.

VIII. The Chaste Maid of Cheapside; a pleasant Comedy, acted by the Lady Elizabeth's Servants, 1620.

IX. The World toss'd at Tennis; a Masque, presented by the Prince's Servants, 1620. Dedicated to the Lord Howard of Effingham, and his Lady.

X. The Fair Quarrel; a Comedy, acted in the Year 1622. Dedicated to Robert Grey, Esq. Mr. Rowley assisted in the composing of this Play. The Plot is taken from Cynthio Giraldi, a Novel, Dec. 4. Nov. 5.

XI. The Inner-Temple Masque, or Masque of Heroes; presented by the Gentlemen of the Inner-Temple, 1640.

XII. The Changeling; a Tragedy, acted at the private House in Drury-Lane, and in Salisbury Court, with great Applause, 1653. Mr. Rowley join'd in the writing of this Play. For the Plot, see the Story of Alsemero, and Beatrice Joanna, in Reynold's God's Revenge against Murder.

XIII. The old Law, or A new Way to please ye; a Comedy, acted before the King and Queen in Salisbury-Court, 1656. Mr. Massinger and Mr. Rowley assisted in this Play.

XIV. No Wit, no Help, like a Woman's; a Comedy, acted in the Year 1657.

XV. Women, beware Women; a Tragedy, 1657. This Play is founded on a Romance, call'd, Hyppolito and Isabella.

XVI. More Dissemblers besides Women; a Comedy, acted 1657. This and the Two former Plays are bound together.

XVII. The Spanish Gypsies: A Comedy, acted with Applause both at the private House in Drury-Lane and Salisbury-Court, 1661. In this Play he was assisted by Mr. Rowley. Part of it is borrow'd from a Spanish Novel, call'd, The Force of Blood, written originally by M. de Cervantes.

XVIII. The Mayor of Queenborough; a Comedy, acted by his Majesty's Servants, 1661, with Applause. For the Plot see the Reign of Vortiger in Du Chesne, Stow, Speed, &c.

XIX. Any thing for a quiet Life; a Comedy, acted at the Globe on the Bank-side. This is a Game between the Church of England and that of Rome, wherein the Former gains the Victory.

XXI [sic]. Michaelmas Term; a Comedy. I cannot learn whether this Play was ever acted.

XXII. A mad World, my Masters; a Comedy, often acted at the private House in Salisbury-Court with Applause.